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How to Act Successful


A new house with a pool. That’s what my husband Doug and I have always told our 17-year-old son Sam that we want when he makes it big as an actor someday. Haven’t I told you? That boy has a flair for drama. Not on stage, mind you. No, it’s drama all around when he is arguing about why it is better to study in front of the TV than not; why he shouldn’t have to walk the dog; and why he can load the dishwasher “later.” He’s so passionate about it all, he could be on stage as a one-man show. Forget needing a real job.

Hardee’s franchisee Dave Glodowski’s parents took the opposite tack: Once upon a time Glodowski majored in theater, along with business, and migrated from Wisconsin to the Twin Cities to make a living as an actor. His dad told him to get a “real job” while he was honing his acting craft. Glodowski joined the ranks of the restaurant industry and never looked back. Today, he and his business partner Mike Hoff operate 19 Hardee’s in Minnesota and Iowa.

But what is also interesting about Glodowski, the subject of our cover story this month, is his dedication to the associations to which he belongs. FT Executive Editor Nancy Weingartner spent a day traveling to his stores with Glodowski, and found someone committed to changing the system for the better for other franchisees. You’ll have to read the story to find out more, but let’s just say he’s paid his dues.

Speaking of paying their dues, our ranking of the Top 200 franchise companies in the U.S. shows that you have to pay your dues big time to be successful. Published annually in our October issue, our crack research team compiles a ranking of the top 200 franchise companies based on worldwide sales. It’s been a tough year: Many of the big franchisors have experienced sales dips, no surprise there, according to FT Reporter Jonathan Maze. We could call this the period of time the era of paying dues - in an economic decline companies have cut expenses and out-innovated their competition, all in an effort to survive.

Some paid their dues years ago. I personally remember interviewing the founder and CEO of Five Guys Burgers, Jerry Murrell, a few years ago when their company made our Fast 55 list, which ranks the fastest growing, young companies in franchising. The whole family was involved: Murrell, his sons and his wife. He was candid about the mistakes they had made and how they learned from them. Now, as Jonathan explains in his report, the Five Guys executive team worked hard all those years ago and now is No. 122 on the Top 200 list, with $499 million in system sales.


Mary Jo can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at mlarson@franchisetimes.com


I guess we could say all businesses have paid their dues in the last couple of years, struggling as they search for financing. I can imagine that was the only thing that was slowing the already-on-fire Five Guys. I’d be a broken record if I said that there was a crisis in the capital markets, but something new just happened today, at deadline: The Senate approved the bill to aid small businesses, which includes raising the cap on the SBA lending programs, and providing a multi-billion dollar lending program channeled to community banks.

Will it help? We’ll see. But one thing I know, it will be part of the conversation at the upcoming Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. Long before there was a crisis, the November conference was bringing together operators and the money people.

And to provide some comedic relief, we’ll be featuring uber-impressionist and comedian Frank Caliendo as the luncheon speaker. But most of all we hope to provide some relief from the credit crunch for operators.

I know Sam can be our comic relief at times, but when the real world comes knocking at his door after college, I think Doug and I will want him financing his own career. Maybe I should take him to this year’s conference.

For more information on the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, go to www.franchisetimes.com. 


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